Crime and Punishment (Morgan Creative, Mick Lally Theatre)
Currently running at Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre is Morgan Creative’s fine adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Playwright Philip McDonagh and the company have delivered a lean, sinewy distillation of the classic novel into two compelling hours of stage time.
There is minimal set while the main props were the lanterns carried by each actor which imbued much of the action with a visual chiaroscuro effect. Jake Morgan’s atmospheric score, played live on piano by Gilles Dupouy, with several sung sequences from the cast, also added to the play’s impact.
The cast of nine, all clad in black, vividly rendered Dostoyevsky’s characters and special praise must go to director Luke Morgan who, at short notice, took on the central role of the tormented murderer Raskolnikov and was assured and impressive throughout. Claire Ahearne, as the saintly prostitute Sonya, John M. Farrell as the wily investigator Porfiry, and Jackie Roantree as Natasya, also delivered strong performances.
There were occasions in the first act when there was a lack of vocal clarity, usually because an actor’s lines were drowned out by the chorus speaking at the same time, but overall this was a strong and well achieved staging of a challenging work.
Luke Morgan’s clever, imaginative direction gave the production great momentum and he deftly co-ordinated the movement and exchanges of his actors. As well as those already mentioned the cast includes Michael Irwin, Colette Devaney, Tara Finn Oisín McDonagh and Yvette Picque.
Crime and Punishment continues until Saturday, October 28th, and is well worth catching.